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Kevin Bray
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Johnny Knoxville, Neal McDonough
Writing Credits:
David Klass, Channing Gibson, David Levien, Brian Koppelman

A former US soldier returns to his hometown to find it overrun by crime and corruption, which prompts him to clean house.

Box Office:
$46 million.
Opening Weekend
$15,501,114 on 2836 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English Dolby DTS-HD MA 5.1
English PCM 2.0
Spanish Dolby 2.0
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 86 min.
Price: $29.95
Release Date: 8/14/2018

• Audio Commentary with Actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
• Audio Commentary with Director Kevin Bray, Director of Photography Glen MacPherson, and Editor Robert Ivison
• Deleted Scenes & Alternate Ending
• “Fight the Good Fight” Featurette
• Bloopers
• Photo Gallery
• Trailers


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Walking Tall [Blu-Ray] (2004)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 9, 2018)

A remake of the 1973 semi-classic, 2004’s Walking Tall introduces us to Chris Vaughn (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), a war hero who returns home to the Pacific Northwest for the first time in eight years. He finds the local mill closed, and we learn this put his father (John Beasley) out of work three years earlier.

Sheriff Stan Watkins (Michael Bowen) greets Chris as a returning hero and drives him to his family home, where we meet his sister Michelle (Kristen Wilson), who now works for the police force. We also encounter his father and mother (Barbara Tarbuck) along with Michelle’s son Pete (Khleo Thomas) and Chris’ friend Ray (Johnny Knoxville).

Chris runs into local spoiled rich boy Jay Hamilton (Neal McDonough), a smarmy sort who quickly closed the mill when he took control of it and who also operates the local casino. Jay runs a sleazy organization and corruption rules the town, so Chris decides he needs to clean shop in a variety of mostly violent ways.

Back in 2004, Johnson was better known for his wrestling persona “The Rock” than his movies. At that time, he tended to makes iffy choices for his cinematic vehicles, and Tall offered nothing to alter this string of lackluster to bad movies.

A lot of the problem with Tall comes from its utter simplicity. The film exists in a world of uncomplicated good and bad, with absolutely no gray area between the two extremes.

We get vague hints of some depth to Chris’ character, as it seems odd that he avoided his family for so long. However, we only receive a rudimentary explanation for this, as it appears his dad wasn’t happy he went into the military. That’s it - no further investigation or exploration to this concept.

And that’s one of the better fleshed out concepts in the movie! The characters remain nothing more than bland archetypes. Chris is the stalwart do-gooder straight out of a western, while Hamilton only lacks a moustache to twirl.

None of this makes for a very interesting movie, and it doesn’t help that the flick rushes through things so rapidly that it totally avoids depth or detail. Tall doesn’t even reach the 90-minute mark, which makes it awfully short. It tosses out any form of character exposition or fleshed-out elements to emphasize the action, which leaves it as an unsatisfying work.

Actually, I will say that those action sequences tend to fare reasonably well. Director Kevin Bray leads the film in a workmanlike manner and brings little flair or spark to the proceedings, but he also does nothing to harm the action pieces. They’re not great, but they do add some life to an otherwise borderline unwatchable experience.

Bray also displays a regrettable tendency to favor musical montages. This ties into his preference to rush the action, as the montages let him pack in even more information in a short amount of time.

These elements get pretty old quickly and they don’t make the movie more inviting or exciting. Instead, they just seem like cheap devices.

Toss in arguably the most absurd trial sequence ever filmed and you have a generally weak movie. Walking Tall indulges in the occasional decent action sequence, but too much of the movie feels flat and uninspired. It’s a bland star vehicle without any depth or spark.

Running time footnote: Tall is one of the shortest feature releases in recent memory. Though it claims to last 86 minutes, it presents a long, slow-moving credit crawl. The movie really ends before the 74-minute mark; we get more than 12 minutes of credits!

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

Walking Tall appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not a bad presentation, the image fell short of greatness.

Overall sharpness seemed positive, as the majority of the film offered nice clarity and accuracy. However, mild edge haloes created distractions that also reduced definition to a small degree.

No signs of jagged edges or moiré effects appeared, but a smattering of print flaws cropped up on occasion. These stayed mild and infrequent.

Colors went toward a low-key semi-teal orientation, with some broader hues on occasion. The tones seemed well-rendered within the design choices.

Blacks looked dark and deep, while shadows showed fairly nice smoothness. The edge haloes and print flaws knocked the transfer down a few pegs, but it remained more than watchable.

For the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Walking Tall, I found a generally positive piece, one where the soundfield stayed mostly oriented toward the forward channels. There they presented nice delineation and separation, as the music gave us solid stereo imaging, and the effects were spread broadly and convincingly.

The surrounds played a minor role and mostly came into the action with the smattering of more active sequences like when Chris trashes the casino. The rear speakers supported the material in a decent way but usually didn’t add a tremendous amount to the tale.

Audio quality appeared strong, as speech consistently came across as natural and concise, and I noticed no signs of edginess or problems with intelligibility. Effects sounded distinctive and accurate, with appropriate range and good low-end as necessary.

Music fared best, which was important given the film’s preponderance of montages. The score and songs both presented lively and bright tones with nice definition and force. Overall, the track didn’t seem exceptional, but it worked well for the material.

All the original DVD extras repeat here, and the disc presents two separate audio commentaries. The first comes from actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, as he offers a running, screen-specific affair in which he talks about his interest in the project, why they changed the name of his character, some acting and character choices, working with the others, and staging the fight sequences.

An outsized personality, the Rock fashions himself as something of a comedian, and he makes many wisecracks throughout the conversation. He especially loves to joke that actor John Beasley is really George Foreman. If I took a drink every time he made that crack, I’d be wasted by the end of the commentary.

Most of the jokes aren’t funny, and the track still suffers from too much dead air. Nonetheless, it offers an improvement over what I expected and seems entertaining enough, at least for fans.

We also find a commentary from director Kevin Bray, director of photography Glen MacPherson, and editor Robert Ivison. All three sit together for their running, screen-specific chat, though MacPherson arrives late.

They go through some fairly basic subjects. They discuss variations from the original movie, sets, locations, editing, musical choices, stunts and various other production elements.

A reasonable amount of information appears during this chat, but honestly, it doesn’t feel like it adds up to much. The men remain low-key and the commentary never builds much momentum.

That comes partially from their subdued style but also from the sporadic gaps that slow the piece. The track offers some decent rudiments of the production but little that seems revealing or intriguing appears.

Next we get a collection of three Deleted Scenes and an Alternate Ending. For the former, we find “Black Jack” (0:49), “He Hurts People” (0:17) and “It’s Not Your Fault” (0:34).

We see a little more of the fun at the casino plus a very short chat in which Deni tries to dissuade Chris from running for sheriff as well as a little bonding between Chris and Pete. None of them add much.

Called “The Porch”, the alternate ending lasts only one minute, 20 seconds. It features Chris and Ray as they shoot the breeze on the former’s family porch. Despite the clip’s brevity, it’s too long for this kind of tale and deserved to be cut, as it would’ve ended the movie on a very dull note.

For a featurette, we head to Fight the Good Fight. It runs eight minutes, 44 seconds and looks into the flick’s stunts.

After an introduction from the Rock, we get a mix of movie shots, behind the scenes elements, and interviews. We hear from Bray, who leads us through the styles of the fights, and also get notes from the Rock, stunt coordinator Jeff Habberstad, and actor Neal McDonough.

Some minor tidbits appear, like Bray’s early plan to replace the block of wood with an aluminum bat, but a lot of the piece just consists of praise for the lack of smooth choreography and special effects, as everyone tells us how raw the fights were.

Habberstad tosses out a decent overview of the process, though, and the shots from the set offer some fun material. “Fight” lacks depth but it merits a look.

A set of bloopers fills 48 seconds. We get a few goofs from the Rock and that’s it.

In the Photo Gallery, we discover 46 pictures. These mix shots from the set with publicity images and they add little to the package.

Finally, the trailer for Tall appears, as do promos for Barbershop, Barbershop 2, Black Eagle, Blast, Chokeslam, Crazy Six, Lionheart, Man From Earth: Holocene, Out of Time, Return of Swamp Thing and The Violence Movie.

Since I never saw the original Walking Tall with Joe Don Baker, I can’t compare it to the 2004 remake, but I must imagine that the old flick surpassed the new one. Dwayne Johnson displays an engaging personality, but otherwise the film offers little life or excitement, as it just seems predictable and underdeveloped. The Blu-ray offers generally good picture along with strong audio and a decent selection of supplements. This winds up as a passable release for a mediocre movie.

To rate this film, visit the original review of WALKING TALL

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